Examining teachers’ use of research use and the role of social relationships and school leadership in making research informed practice a reality

28th February 2019 : 16:00 - 17:30

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Professor Chris Brown (University of Portsmouth, School of Education and Sociology)

Location: Seminar Room B, Department of Education

Convener: Katharine Burn

Research-informed teaching practice (RITP) refers to the use of research evidence by teachers in order to improve how they teach and, as a result, student learning outcomes.

The use of research by teachers is considered both beneficial and desirable. As such, research-informed teaching should be both encouraged and facilitated. At the same time, we are still to discover the most effective ways of supporting and fostering teachers’ engagement with research.  

In light of the increasing focus on social influence as a driver of behaviour/behavioural change, in this session Professor Chris Brown uses data from a recent study to examine the extent to which social-influence affects teachers’ use of research (via the impact social influence has on the benefits, costs, and signification teachers associate with research-use). He will also explore the relative importance of social influence compared to other factors known to positively affect research use: 1) teachers’ perceptions as to whether they work in a trusting work environment; 2) perceptions as to whether school leaders’ encourage the use of research in their schools; and 3) teachers’ perceptions regarding whether they are encouraged to innovate.

As Chris will highlight, the findings from this study point to a key challenge for policy-makers and educational leaders if RITP is to become a reality in school systems. Namely, if our use of research is greatly influenced by our colleagues’ use of research, then how can systemic and whole school research-use be ‘kick started’?

About the Department of Education

In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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